Add it to the list: Rice agriculture
More carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, coupled with rising temperatures, is making rice agriculture a larger source of the potent greenhouse gas methane, according to a study published today in Nature Climate Change by a research team that includes a University of California, Davis, plant scientist.
But the authors note that relatively simple changes in rice cultivation could help reduce methane emissions.
“Together, higher carbon dioxide concentrations and warmer temperatures predicted for the end of this century will about double the amount of methane emitted per kilo of rice produced,” said Chris van Kessel, professor of plant sciences at UC Davis and co-author of the study, published in this week’s edition of Nature Climate Change. “Because global demand for rice will increase further with a growing world population, our results suggest that without additional measures, the total methane emissions from rice agriculture will strongly increase.”
Rice paddies are one of the largest man-made sources of methane, and rice is the world’s second-most produced staple crop.